Glazers do not intend to sell Manchester United amid reports of Saudi interest

Sachin Nakrani and Jamie Jackson
The Guardian

Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, have no immediate intentions to sell the club, or even a stake in it.

Rumours first began to circulate around a week ago that the Glazers, United’s owners since 2005, were considering a takeover bid from Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, with reports on Saturday suggesting an offer in the region of £4bn was to be discussed between both parties in the next couple of weeks.

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That, however, appears to be somewhat off the mark given the decision of Avram Glazer, United’s co-owner, to pull out of an upcoming investment forum in Saudi Arabia amid the diplomatic fallout caused by the recent death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. More broadly, the Guardian understands there little, if any, appetite within the Old Trafford hierarchy for a change of ownership. The initial rumours of a potential Saudi takeover led to United’s share price reaching an all-time high on the on the New York Stock Exchange of $27.65, with Forbes valuing the club at around at £3.2bn.

The Glazers’s 13-year ownership of United has been marked by controversy ever since Malcolm Glazer, the head of the family, took control of the 20-times champions of England by leveraging it with a £500m-plus debt. The takeover has gone onto drain £1bn in interest, costs, fees and dividends out of United, with the club continuing to financially serve the six Glazer siblings, who collectively own 97% of United’s voting shares following the death of their father in May 2014, every year.

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